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Best Green Houses


Overhead and Underfoot: An evolving housing prototype employs a raised floor system and a double-height volume.

Baird Sampson Neuert Architects
September 2011

By David Sokol

Photo © Terrence Tourangeau
Click the image above to tour this month’s Best Green House.
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In 2003, the Toronto-based Interior Design Show asked local architecture firm Baird Sampson Neuert to create one of three pavilions for this Canadian version of the Salone del Mobile. Responding to the event’s theme of dense urban living, Baird Sampson Neuert created the 550-square-foot LightSpace. “At the time the condo boom was well underway, and there were many units being built around that size that were poorly planned,” says firm partner Barry Sampson. The pavilion was really intended as a prototype, imagined as a one-bedroom apartment within a multistory building with double-loaded corridors.

LightSpace was predicated on the adaptation of a raised floor system into a domestic environment. It houses the apartment’s mechanical systems, precluding ceiling bulkheads or plumbing penetrations into the apartments beneath it. It also channels outdoor air into the unit—via an interior decorative water feature that humidifies the space. Because the floor is not raised throughout LightSpace, the living area is sunken; glass partitions also make the pavilion interior feel bigger than it is…


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